COSA Community Organizing and Practice Certificate

A National Certificate with the Association for Community Organization and Social Action (ACOSA)

Community organizing and practice acknowledges community as a social environment that is broadly defined and rich in diversity. MSWs often find themselves working in community organizing and practice settings addressing a variety of planning, development, and social change issues. To prepare students to become leaders in this field, the School of Social Work offers a national Community Organizing and Practice Certificate, through a partnership with the Association for Community Organization and Social Action (ACOSA). This national certificate helps to define and affirm community organizing and practice competencies that have become increasingly important to the careers and advancement of MSW professionals.

COSA Requirements

Courses: COSA students pursuing this certificate must complete twelve credits through the following COSA core courses and skill electives covering the ACOSA certificate competencies in the areas of: community organizing; community planning; community development; and community social change. For more information on the ACOSA certificate and competencies please see the ACOSA website.

SWCOSA 2084: Human Services Organization Management (requirement for all COSA students)

SWCOSA 2088: Community Organizing and Planning (requirement for all COSA students)

SWCOSA 2090: Working with Group/Intergroup Relations: Facilitation, Negotiation and Mediation

SWCOSA 2096: Community Planning and Development

Field Placement

Students must also complete a COSA specialization field placement (12 credits) in a community practice setting to apply the knowledge, values, and skills they are learning through their coursework. Students who complete the requirements for the certificate will also receive a one-year membership to ACOSA, which includes access to the Journal of Community Practice.

Certificate Declaration of Intent Form

Contact Information

For more information: Please contact the COSA Chair, Mary Ohmer, at: 412-624-8214 or